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The Peculiar Political Economics of Pro-Domming

lumpenproletariat meme 1“So, I figured out what happened to Jane,” the dungeon manager said.

“Oh?”

“My friend ran into her the other day. She’s a cop now.”

“I guess that makes some kind of sense ,” I said.

“Mmhhmm. She can beat-up people legally now.”

That’s the punchline. Do you get it? Let me take all the humor out of it by explaining: in most U.S. jurisdictions, professional dommes are criminalized under prostitution laws 1, and police can de facto brutalize whoever they want, especially if that person is Black like the dungeon manager is. Her joke isn’t funny-ha-ha; it’s ironic. It’s also funny-strange: why would a fascist like Jane spend years working as a petty criminal?

I’m going to hazard a guess and say that Jane bought the popular line about pro-dommes. It seems we’ve confused dressing up in Slutty Cop Halloween costumes and consensually slapping men’s scrotums with having real power. And when I say “we,” I don’t just mean Jane and other BDSM pros. I mean everyone. I mean, look at this recent example of how the media covers professional domination:

“The new group Dommes for Bernie placed an ad on Manhattan’s Backpage.com classifieds on Friday, calling for Wall Street workers to step up for punishment worthy of the Bernie Sanders presidential platform,” Mary Emily O’Hara writes at The Daily Dot. Both O’Hara and the DfB present ad copy as testament to a reality in which pro-dommes really do discipline our clients. “We think it’s poetic justice to dominate men who benefit from capitalism, and then donate their tributes to a candidate who stands up for those most harmed by it,” O’Hara quotes one of the dommes as saying. I fail to see the poetry or the justice of a man quite happily paying a woman for a highly gendered form of labor, and the woman taking her money and doing with it as she sees fit—in this case, donating to a center-left candidate for the presidency of a neocolonial empire that stands on stolen land.

But then, I also don’t see how a half dozen or so fin-dommes have transformed “fuck you, pay me” dirty talk into a semi-coherent rhetoric of wealth redistribution on certain strains of social justice Twitter. It seems obvious to me that gamely paying $20 in Amazon gift cards for a carefully calibrated performance of sexualized bitchiness is not full communism. Where did everyone else get it twisted?

A Conversation With My Mom

I do these interviews because I want to talk with other sex workers about our work, and because I think we all have interesting stories. But, after interviewing Matthew and his telling me he was coming out, it occurred to me that I didn’t have to worry about that. I acknowledge that I am very privileged to have a mom who isn’t freaked out by my work, but we’d had very few conversations about how she felt about my work. Actually, we hadn’t had any. I tell her about sessions, and I told her when I started working, but beyond a few mentions here and there that was it. I wanted to know what she thought about my work, and since she’s a preacher, if she thought it clashed with our religion at all. I didn’t know what she was going to say, I swear, but I committed myself to reproducing whatever she said no matter what.

(Obviously this isn't my mom and I.)

My Sex Work Bucket List: Lori Adorable

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Lori Adorabl—uh, Mistress Meghan Julie Rhoda Murphy Bindel Grant, Esq.

I’ve opened every Tits and Sass article I’ve written by talking about how disgruntled I am. Let’s not stop now. To reiterate, I got into this industry largely out of desperation, found the niche I hate the least (pro-switching) and currently spend half my time building my business and the other half trying not to tear it down. Needless to say, I was pretty sure that I didn’t have any goals to accomplish before retiring. Then I saw Johanna’s plan to get a pug, and it hit me hard, in the face, like a flogger thrown by a jackass client: I must go out on an epic troll spree. Here’s my equivalent of scamming a dog out of a rich dude and running:

1. Change my working name to Mistress Meghan Julie Rhoda Murphy Bindel Grant

…Esquire. If a client fails to address me by my full name, I will revoke all of his human rights. You know, for his own good.

2. Figure out a way to sell just about anything as a fetish item.

Should I throw this old sweatshirt in the Goodwill pile? No, I’ll just rub it with onions and period panties and sell it as Mistress’s hot, smelly workout clothes. (LOL. Me. Work out.) Is it time to toss this old toothbrush? No, it’s time to go on Ebanned, and post about Madame’s filthy little butt tickler. Should I take out the cat litter? Don’t be silly; that poop is for the pathetic slaves who aren’t good enough for the Queen’s own chocolate. Put it in some Tupperware and ship it!

Just A Regular Day in the Park…

I have a policy that fetish play is just that, play, and as such I am loathe to take it into the public eye. This policy exists for a few reasons, the most important being that I hate when people push their shit on me, so I’m not going to push mine on them. I get grossed out by overly lovey couples, religious zealots, and the lot. Walking a slave on a leash in the middle of Downtown Dallas would be right along those lines as far as I’m concerned.

Having said all that, it is pretty hilarious. I imagine that there are submissives wanking to this as I type, so many people have that “In Public” fetish. Most of them are too chickenshit to go through with it though, so I admire this guy’s bravery. He isn’t even wearing a costume!

Handling The Review Boards

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This isn’t the best way to handle issues with review boards.

Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.

—Oscar Wilde

There is no human experience so intimate and personal that people won’t publicly dissect it. Childbirth. Funerals. Cancer treatments. And sex. I agree with much of what has already been said here on T&S about the problems inherent to some sex work review boards. The whole concept of reviewing an erotic encounter that one was a participant in is an odd idea; it’s like having like a theater critic be in the cast of the play. How can one ignore the fact that the critic played some part in how the show turned out? But, especially with experiences that touch on primal emotions, people search for ways to bring some intellectual analysis to what they are feeling—with mixed degrees of success. Some sex worker reviews are truthful, insightful, and useful: others are more like naked bathroom selfies of the reviewer, with all the perils inherent to that art.

I’ve been reviewed, as an escort and as a pro domme, on both escort boards and sites specifically about professional dominance. Some reviews were positive, some not so much. Of course I prefer the paeans to my beauty and skill—who doesn’t? But I’ve learned to not take any of them too seriously, because I got toughened up in an equally merciless school: reviews and comments on my writing.